Much to most people’s surprise, the Oakland Raiders’ Monday night game against the Denver Broncos was not a complete shutout. In fact, the Raiders managed to score three touchdowns.
What does this say about the continuing improvements of the Raiders? Just a few weeks ago, the Broncos played the Baltimore Ravens, last year’s Super Bowl winners, beating them by 22 points. However, the Raiders only lost by a 16-point deficit. I think this shows the impressive effort put out by the Raiders. We can see a drastic difference between last year and this year’s performances.
Unfortunately, Oakland lost their quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, in the second half to a concussion. The NFL now has strict rules on when coaches are allowed to return a player to the game after suffering a concussion. The players have to be approved by neurologists rather than team doctors. Surprisingly, Pryor stayed in the game for two more plays after getting knocked down by Denver’s linebacker, Wesley Woodyard.
What does this say about Coach Allen’s handling of the situation? At any moment a player is suspected to have a concussion, they are supposed to immediately be pulled from the game. Instead, Allen kept Pryor in for an additional two plays, despite the image of Pryor lying motionless after the hit. Was Allen in the wrong for not immediately pulling Pryor from the game? Or did he even realize the hit was as serious as it is?
Some believe this casts a shadow of doubt on Coach Allen’s judgment, which could potentially lead to more issues in the future.
Pryor is not expected to return for Week 4, as he is scheduled to undergo a series of tests. Matt Flynn will take his place, the player Pryor beat out as starting quarterback for the season.
How will this affect the Raiders? They will have to adjust to Flynn’s style of throwing for at least a week, until Pryor is deemed healthy and stable. However, Oakland should be somewhat used to playing with Flynn, and I don’t foresee much of an issue with adapting.